Wednesday

Wednesday Words of Wisdom: Plan, but be flexible (advice from a working mom)

"Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans." John Lennon
If you have read this blog lately you know that my life has been hectic. I have missed blog deadlines, missed deadlines for Parent Society and been all around frazzled.  Indeed, this Wednesday Words of Wisdom post was supposed to be published last week… I’ve been teetering a bit in my stilettos and balance has merely been a goal.
You see when I was planning my life over the past year and goal-setting, I did it based on known factors and I relied on my support system. I valued my car and my childcare provider, but because they were reliable I took each for granted.  I hopped in my car whenever I wanted and it ran perfectly fine.  I left for work for each day with the assurance that my child was well taken care of.  I would close the door, drive away and never look back.
I was spoiled.
Then one week, it all changed. We were without a nanny and I had no car.  My plans were shattered and I have been trying to pick up the pieces ever since.
We have managed the childcare situation with the help of family and a new person. It’s worked out well, but the new person may be leaving soon. Apparently, she’s gotten a better offer and is torn.  While I doubt any family could be nicer than we are or have a cuter kid (just joking) she has to make the decision that is best for her and her family.  As someone who’s been supporting herself for some time I get it.  However, the uncertainty has been a bit inconvenient for me and my family.  If she leaves, I guess I’ll have to adjust, again…
The car situation has been even more enlightening.  I have learned that there is an entire culture of public transportation which I had little experience and there are rules.  As a friend pointed out, the theory behind public transportation is much better than the reality of public transportation.  I had no idea that they don’t take debit cards or give change on the bus.  In 2012, why they hell do you have to have exact change on the bus? I don’t get it.
One day I had to ride the bus to the Jewish Community Center to visit their supreme day care center.  Someone at the bus stop mentioned that I needed exact change so I stopped in Starbucks to buy something to get change. Well I bought something and got change, but it wasn’t in the denominations to pay $2.50. I asked the cashier to break the bills for me and she responded, “I can’t open the register unless you buy something else.” Really?! I had already bought a bottle of overpriced water and a package of too expensive cashews that I didn’t need. I couldn’t bring myself to buy something else. I decided to chance it on the bus.  I was fairly certain that I could dig up the requisite change at the bottom of my purse.
I planned to look for change while I waited for the bus, but it came quickly.  When I got on the bus the driver covered the money slot. Apparently you don’t always pay when you get on the bus. By the time we got to my spot, I found exact change, but it was a combination of dimes and nickels.  Apparently, I took too long to put my money in.  The driver waved me off in disgust and said, “Just go.” I felt bad. I wonder if there’s a riding the bus handbook that I could get???
Needless to say, confusion and riding the bus were not a part of my plan.  But life had other plans. It threw us a curve ball.  I think that eventually we'll hit the ball out of the park though.  
I used to think that the interruptions, setbacks, and craziness were inconveniences. Now I realize that they are the things that make life interesting.  When this phase passes and I have secured reliable childcare and have another car, this phase will just be a memory.  And I will have the story.  It will start like this, “remember when we lost our childcare and car in the same week?!” We may even laugh.




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